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Detention of journalists: Ombudsman sends letter to Internal Affairs Department

Ombudsperson of Kyrgyzstan Jamilya Jamanbaeva met with relatives of the detained 11 journalists. The Ombudsman’s Institute reports.

At the meeting, citizens complained about violations of the rights of their detained relatives.

«They are still in the temporary detention center, they have not been transferred to the pre-trial detention center, despite the fact that the court chose the preventive measure on January 17. This is a violation of their rights,» they complained.

According to relatives, the court did not take into account the arguments of the journalists’ lawyers when choosing the preventive measure.

Ombudsperson recalled that employees of the Ombudsman’s Institute visited the temporary detention center the day after the arrest and had a conversation with the detained journalists.

«In accordance with our mandate, the Ombudsman’s Institute carries out its work to protect the rights of journalists. We also sent a letter to the Main Internal Affairs Department of Bishkek calling for an explanation of the reasons why the journalists were not transferred to the pre-trial detention center,» Jamilya Jamanbaeva told.

On January 16, the office of Temirov Live was searched and editorial equipment was confiscated. The police searched homes and detained 11 current and former employees of the media outlet.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement announcing that, as a result of «forensic linguistic examination» of content found on the social media pages of Temirov Live and Ait Ait Dese on December 30, criminal proceedings had been initiated against them under article 278, part 3 of the Criminal Code for «calling for riots.» Makhabat Tazhibek kyzy, Sapar Akunbekov, Azamat Ishenbekov, Saipidin Sultanaliev, Aktilek Kaparov, Tynystan Asypbekov, Maksat Tazhibek uulu, Zhoodar Buzumov, Zhumabek Turdaliev, Aike Beishekeeva and Akyl Orozbekov will be kept in Bishkek pretrial detention center 1 until March 13. All of them are former or current employees of Temirov Live.